Advice needed - Screen Size - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 13 Old 07-14-2019, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Advice needed - Screen Size

I have a room that is going to be used for a home theater and I am trying to figure out what size and aspect ratio the screen should be.

The projector would likely be an Epson 6050


The wall is 150" wide, and I using a pair of Focal Sopra No2 speakers for the LR and a Sopra Center. I figure that the max width I could have is 100" wide. The ceiling is 8' tall.

Video content will be mixed between movies and TV. The room is 16 ft deep, i figure the couch will be 12-13ft back. That being said, should I do a 2.4 cinemascope screen or a 16:9?
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post #2 of 13 Old 07-14-2019, 07:04 PM
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Do you watch more movies, or more TV/Games?



Could you build a false screen all and put your speakers behind an AT screen? Perhaps not with only 16'.

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post #3 of 13 Old 07-14-2019, 07:35 PM
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All I can suggest is don't even consider a screen until you have the projector setup. Use the wall or temporary screen for a few weeks at least so you can get used to it and decide for your self what works for you. Looks like you have a 12' x 8' space with large L/R mains so a 16:9 would be my choice but its so subjective that only you can decide what works for you as others opinions and industry standards are worthless.

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post #4 of 13 Old 07-14-2019, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mocs123 View Post
Do you watch more movies, or more TV/Games?



Could you build a false screen all and put your speakers behind an AT screen? Perhaps not with only 16'.
I watch tv and movies about the same. I am thinking of optimizing for having the largest screen that is comfortable to watch.

The room is way too small for building a false wall.


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Originally Posted by rekbones View Post
All I can suggest is don't even consider a screen until you have the projector setup. Use the wall or temporary screen for a few weeks at least so you can get used to it and decide for your self what works for you. Looks like you have a 12' x 8' space with large L/R mains so a 16:9 would be my choice but its so subjective that only you can decide what works for you as others opinions and industry standards are worthless.
Thats not a bad idea. It never occurred to me.
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post #5 of 13 Old 07-16-2019, 12:41 AM
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i definitely second the waiting until you've played around with the projector suggestion. my first screen came bundled with my projector, so that wasn't an option for me and i ended up replacing it with a smaller screen about a year later. after doing that, i discovered that what felt 'too big' for me was completely dependent on the screen height. the perfect solution for me is really CIH, but i've never had a room wide enough for it to truly make sense.

if i'm understanding your situation correctly, you basically have a square area (100 x 96 inches) to place your screen. That means you are limited more by the width than the height, in which case i suspect a 16:9 screen is going to be a better option for you. as long as you don't feel a 16:9 image is too large when 100inches wide, as i suspect you will want that 2.35:1 image the full 100" wide if possible.

i guess what i'm saying is, you probably want your screen as wide as you can go in that 100inch space. And you might as well make it a 16:9 format, unless you discover after some trial that a 100" wide 16:9 image is too large.

2.35:1 screens really make sense in rooms that are much wider than they are tall. If you've got a room that's like 15feet wide with 8 ft ceilings for example. but it really is a personal preference kind of thing, and only you shining some light on the wall/bedsheets for a few days/weeks will be able to tell you what you like.

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post #6 of 13 Old 07-17-2019, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by fierce_gt View Post
i definitely second the waiting until you've played around with the projector suggestion. my first screen came bundled with my projector, so that wasn't an option for me and i ended up replacing it with a smaller screen about a year later. after doing that, i discovered that what felt 'too big' for me was completely dependent on the screen height. the perfect solution for me is really CIH, but i've never had a room wide enough for it to truly make sense.

if i'm understanding your situation correctly, you basically have a square area (100 x 96 inches) to place your screen. That means you are limited more by the width than the height, in which case i suspect a 16:9 screen is going to be a better option for you. as long as you don't feel a 16:9 image is too large when 100inches wide, as i suspect you will want that 2.35:1 image the full 100" wide if possible.

i guess what i'm saying is, you probably want your screen as wide as you can go in that 100inch space. And you might as well make it a 16:9 format, unless you discover after some trial that a 100" wide 16:9 image is too large.

2.35:1 screens really make sense in rooms that are much wider than they are tall. If you've got a room that's like 15feet wide with 8 ft ceilings for example. but it really is a personal preference kind of thing, and only you shining some light on the wall/bedsheets for a few days/weeks will be able to tell you what you like.
I used to think the same and still do to some extent in some rooms.

But in theory every room is big enough to do any presentation you want as long as you are open to using the right seating distance. People normally place some seats down where they look right and then say my image is to small or the room not wide enough. When you think about it in terms of immersion level things change.

As an example my room is pretty small we have 4 seats in a single row and with the projector backed up to the wall we get 110” 16:9 screen. it was more than large enough for 1.84 movies or even TV it was just a little small for 2.35 movies and IMAX was too small. I really wanted a 120” image but that was imposable with our projector and it is a shorter throw. I moved our seating one foot closer and it was perfect for doing CIH+IMAX in terms of immersion.

Of course there are limits I’m not suggesting people sit 2’ from a 32” TV and call it a home theater, but within some range starting around 100”-110” depending on the person a cinematic feeling can be had by adjusting immersion and using FP.

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post #7 of 13 Old 07-18-2019, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
I used to think the same and still do to some extent in some rooms.

But in theory every room is big enough to do any presentation you want as long as you are open to using the right seating distance. People normally place some seats down where they look right and then say my image is to small or the room not wide enough. When you think about it in terms of immersion level things change.

As an example my room is pretty small we have 4 seats in a single row and with the projector backed up to the wall we get 110” 16:9 screen. it was more than large enough for 1.84 movies or even TV it was just a little small for 2.35 movies and IMAX was too small. I really wanted a 120” image but that was imposable with our projector and it is a shorter throw. I moved our seating one foot closer and it was perfect for doing CIH+IMAX in terms of immersion.

Of course there are limits I’m not suggesting people sit 2’ from a 32” TV and call it a home theater, but within some range starting around 100”-110” depending on the person a cinematic feeling can be had by adjusting immersion and using FP.
i'm not saying i necessarily disagree with you, but i value the distance from the screen, the 'balance' of room aesthetics and if we're going to play the 'sit closer' game then i'm watching movies on my laptop with headphones... obviously you understand this by your last sentence, but i personally feel the limits for making front projection 'impressive' are a lot closer to the 110" 16:9 screen than the 32" tv.

Moving closer because your screen is small in a narrow room could very easily ruin room functionality and aesthetics. Making a room smaller, proportionally is easier to deal with, imo, than making a room that's narrow work for 2.35:1. My room is twice as long as it is wide. regardless of what those dimensions are, my seating is in the middle of the room right now and that's already kind of weird. If i move the seating further away, i want a bigger screen, and i'm already within a foot of the side walls(so i can't go wider). if i move the seating closer to make 2.35:1 work, then i have a lot of 'empty' room behind me. If my room were just smaller, i agree, but it's about the ratios. a room that is narrow, tall, and long needs different compromises than one that is wide, low, and short regardless of the actual size.

i guess what i'm getting at, is i feel the seating distance is determined as much (or more) by the room dimensions as it is the screen size. While there would obviously be some back and forth, i think determining the seating distance based on the room dimensions is a step before determining screen size. in a perfect world, i chose my screen based on my seating distance, which is based on my room dimensions.

but for the sake of argument, if you don't care about room aesthetics and are willing/able to move your viewing distance, then i absolutely agree with you.

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post #8 of 13 Old 07-18-2019, 03:39 PM
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i'm not saying i necessarily disagree with you, but i value the distance from the screen, the 'balance' of room aesthetics and if we're going to play the 'sit closer' game then i'm watching movies on my laptop with headphones... obviously you understand this by your last sentence, but i personally feel the limits for making front projection 'impressive' are a lot closer to the 110" 16:9 screen than the 32" tv.

Moving closer because your screen is small in a narrow room could very easily ruin room functionality and aesthetics. Making a room smaller, proportionally is easier to deal with, imo, than making a room that's narrow work for 2.35:1. My room is twice as long as it is wide. regardless of what those dimensions are, my seating is in the middle of the room right now and that's already kind of weird. If i move the seating further away, i want a bigger screen, and i'm already within a foot of the side walls(so i can't go wider). if i move the seating closer to make 2.35:1 work, then i have a lot of 'empty' room behind me. If my room were just smaller, i agree, but it's about the ratios. a room that is narrow, tall, and long needs different compromises than one that is wide, low, and short regardless of the actual size.

i guess what i'm getting at, is i feel the seating distance is determined as much (or more) by the room dimensions as it is the screen size. While there would obviously be some back and forth, i think determining the seating distance based on the room dimensions is a step before determining screen size. in a perfect world, i chose my screen based on my seating distance, which is based on my room dimensions.

but for the sake of argument, if you don't care about room aesthetics and are willing/able to move your viewing distance, then i absolutely agree with you.

Again we agree on this topic way more than we disagree. I even started a thread on the topic 2 years ago and the results were pretty interesting.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/68-di...creen-20a.html

The more involved or evolved my thought process became about immersion and also real screen size the more I changed how I viewed my presentation in my small home media / HT room. Like you I have a rectangle room and it would be perfect for 2 rows of 2. and my screen size would have been limited to 110” 16:9. It also had the possibility of 1 row of 4 and perhaps a much larger scope screen. Throw distance raised its ugly head and with a shorter throw projector I could still do 110” 16:9 and the full rows distance to the screen would be the same as the front row going the other direction. It then became a question of viewing angle vs immersion. With something I had not thought of before and that is the social aspect of a group of 4 watching a movie in the same row. How often have you ever went to a movie theater and you sat in one row and your friends sat in the row behind you? Of course this method also requires no riser and stairs. It also is an interesting question on the audio front, because doing this made a 5.2 setup more than enough for me, and that’s what most of the media I get is anyway.

So I tried both ways and one way no one complained about the off center issue as much as the loss of immersion. Front row was IMAX like and second row was under-whelming like the back of the theater. So I turned conventional thinking 90 degrees and it is wonderful.

If you read thru the linked thread it will kind of lead you to we have two eyes and they are a few inches apart and even in darkness with only a screen image we still can tell size. There is a point when IMO the image becomes movie-like because of its immensity, more is better and IMAX some would say is hard to convey smaller than 80’ high. But for me there is some magic going on right around 110” or better yet 120” if I could do it. It is different than even an 80” TV at the same immersion level. I also find controlling the light and the reflections and the surround around the image all play a part in tricking us into believing it is cinema.

In my perfect world in a room larger than I have I would sit 2.0 x screen height for CIH viewing and 1.5 x SH for IMAX on a 120”-130” 16:9 screen with a single row of 4 seats. If I needed more capacity for special events I would add a row of 5 upright non-reclining regular commercial theater seats on a 12” riser. I doubt if I could fill 9 seats once every few years. The upright second row helps so much with back row immersion vs reclining them.

You mentioned aesthetics and you are correct it plays a huge role for some. Many HT are made with as much attention to the room with the lights on as off. Many people want a curved scope screen for how it looks. Even the building of the stage is important to people. I don’t disagree with all this even though I didn’t bring any of it into the theater I have now. It was very much in the planning of my theater at my old house. This time around I only thought about one thing and that was the visual and sound experience when the lights are out and the movie playing.

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post #9 of 13 Old 07-19-2019, 12:25 PM
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Again we agree on this topic way more than we disagree. I even started a thread on the topic 2 years ago and the results were pretty interesting.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/68-di...creen-20a.html
...
But for me there is some magic going on right around 110” or better yet 120” if I could do it. It is different than even an 80” TV at the same immersion level. I also find controlling the light and the reflections and the surround around the image all play a part in tricking us into believing it is cinema.
i'll give that a browse when i've got a bit more time

i agree that the size has a kind of transition point around that 100-120" mark, it's like the difference between looking through a window and just being there. obviously, when appropriately close to the screen.

in my heart i know CIH is the best option for me. but i keep finding reasons why it won't work. i think this is also a struggle that becomes worse with smaller rooms. When you have a 110" screen and try to get two rows of seating, the extra 6-8' of viewing distance between rows is massive. Like you said, it's like sitting in the front row or back row of a commercial theater. I mean, there's no reason you can't put your front row (or back row) in the 'ideal' spot and just totally sacrifice the experience in your back row, but it's pretty impossible to make both rows acceptable. If you increase the screen size, and room size, the distance between rows becomes less significant, making it a lot easier to implement correctly.

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post #10 of 13 Old 07-19-2019, 01:17 PM
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i'll give that a browse when i've got a bit more time

i agree that the size has a kind of transition point around that 100-120" mark, it's like the difference between looking through a window and just being there. obviously, when appropriately close to the screen.

in my heart i know CIH is the best option for me. but i keep finding reasons why it won't work. i think this is also a struggle that becomes worse with smaller rooms. When you have a 110" screen and try to get two rows of seating, the extra 6-8' of viewing distance between rows is massive. Like you said, it's like sitting in the front row or back row of a commercial theater. I mean, there's no reason you can't put your front row (or back row) in the 'ideal' spot and just totally sacrifice the experience in your back row, but it's pretty impossible to make both rows acceptable. If you increase the screen size, and room size, the distance between rows becomes less significant, making it a lot easier to implement correctly.
I agree 100%. It is clear you have given presentation a lot of thought as I also have.

CIH is a very much better method than CIW and most people are drawn to the simplicity of CIW and it is what they understand best as it is TV just bigger. It makes the experience that should be most immersive less immersive and the 1.85 movie or 1.77 TV overly large forcing a compromise that leaves scope even less immersive.

The row thing, 2 rows seems to get better as you get into the 140-150 size and 3 rows most people just watch a way too small image in the overflow seats.

This is the reason I turned my room to shoot to the long wall and have a longer single row of seats.

I also devised my own somewhat controversial method of presentation I call PIA or personal image area. I’m not the first to do this as there are a few around doing different types of variable image size. I relate mine to seating in commercial scope theaters and IMAX theaters that have rows of seats. When you walk into these theaters there is a row that you would hope to sit in. People go to movies early to get the seat they like, and all people don’t like the same row. So I use my zoom and stealth screen to virtually duplicate the immersion of all these rows in all these theaters. I like immersion but if I go to a movie with my lady she likes a little less than me, so I accommodate that. when my sister and her husband come over they are back of the theater people and I zoom out more for them. It doesn’t ruin our experience and it is nice to see them happy. My nephew is like me maybe even more so and if he comes over for an action IMAX we crank the sound and also the virtual row up to full on IMAX enjoyment.

If I had 2 rows as I mentioned before the second row would be upright seating to compress the immersion factor and with PIA I could also adjust a compromise between the two rows. When only one row is used (most of the time) there is no reason to make compromise. If you want to read more about the idea there is a thread in the CIH forum.

Bud
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post #11 of 13 Old 07-19-2019, 02:00 PM
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the PIA as you call it seems like a good workaround for not having multiple rows.

i think i'm a little too picky about having a 'floating screen' to implement that system though. My parents, just yesterday actually, flipped their theater from long and narrow to wide and short and are now projecting on their grey wall after i suggested it. They have a two row set up with the rear seats on a large riser. My mom wanted to get rid of the riser, which meant either getting rid of half the seats, or flipping the room around. It's a massive compromise though, like literally every decision and every piece of furniture and gear in that room was bought and installed with the long and narrow implementation in mind. It's too bad, because had it been done from the start, the wide and short orientation would have been a great layout for them.

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post #12 of 13 Old 07-19-2019, 02:15 PM
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Asking others what screen image size is right for you at your viewing distance is a little like asking others what their favorite color is. You'll never get a unanimous opinion because different people have different favorite colors just as they have different favorite image sizes at any given viewing distance. The best advice as others have already suggested is to let your own eyes tell you what your favorite is. If at all possible experiment with different image sizes on a plain painted wall and find the size that best fits your preference of big enough to be cinematic and immersive without being so big as to cause eyestrain. This varies from individual to individual so there's no magic formula that works for all. Cases can also be made for all screen aspect ratios. Each has a different set of pros and cons, and those who've found the one that works best for them often argue persuasively that it's the best aspect ratio for everyone. Each person needs to think through the pros and cons of each and decide which set of pros and cons best suits their individual needs and preferences.
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post #13 of 13 Old 07-19-2019, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fierce_gt View Post
the PIA as you call it seems like a good workaround for not having multiple rows.

i think i'm a little too picky about having a 'floating screen' to implement that system though. My parents, just yesterday actually, flipped their theater from long and narrow to wide and short and are now projecting on their grey wall after i suggested it. They have a two row set up with the rear seats on a large riser. My mom wanted to get rid of the riser, which meant either getting rid of half the seats, or flipping the room around. It's a massive compromise though, like literally every decision and every piece of furniture and gear in that room was bought and installed with the long and narrow implementation in mind. It's too bad, because had it been done from the start, the wide and short orientation would have been a great layout for them.
Sounds like your parents are moving in the direction I did.

Yes the time to think about all this is before you spend the first penny. Some of us get a redo when we build one theater and then move to a new house and can try again.

As @Dave in Green mentioned in the above post no one can suggest for another’s tastes in size and AR. The one exception might be me as I have no fixed size and no fixed AR. We often see suggested to experiment on a blank wall as a way to figure out what you want. I took that to heart and made that my presentation system and then automated it.

Bud
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